Saturday, December 31, 2011

God Is At Work

I've recently come across a Japanese word which I find, to my shame, may actually describe the facade behind which I have been living.  A brief internet search brought me to an Australian article about the earthquake and tsunami which summed it up this way:

"The Japanese word gaman, a concept that defies easy translation but broadly means calm forbearance, perseverance and poise in the face of events beyond one's control...  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

I admit, sad but true, that I am mentally and emotionally affected by gloomy weather.  Today dawned— barely— under a heavy blanket of fog.  The fog has persisted throughout the morning and into the afternoon, with brief periods of thunder, lightning, a peek of sunshine, and a return of heavy cloud cover.  Ugh.  Peel me off the couch.  Add to this the discovery this morning that our coffee maker has died, (It's only a year old engineered obsolescence, anyone?) and the temptation to go back to bed is almost overwhelming.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To Live is Christ

I am a tad bit late on this post- but then, that's the story of the past few months, isn't it?  Our Women's Bible Study kicked off in September and we have been meeting every week.  Taking a hard look at my own schedule of homeschooling I decided that I did not have the capacity to responsibly lead both the daytime and evening studies this year.  Another couple of ladies graciously accepted the leadership of the daytime study so that I can focus on five days of homeschooling with only one evening a week of study with the ladies.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reluctantly Vegetarian

Several years ago, December 10, 2007, to be precise, Erin came home and declared that she was going to be a Vegetarian.  Her reasons were all health related, not sentimental or squeamish in any respect.  Erin wasn't worried about the cute fuzzy-wuzzy animals, which was good, or we'd have had some serious talking-her-out-of-it to do.  She had considered the health history of her family in light of new information learned in Health class at school and her decision was made.  Bam.  Done.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kelly Academy

We are now into our 4th calendar month of homeschooling for this year.  Beginning in August we have been pursuing together a deeper knowledge and understanding of the the history of the Middle Ages through the development of the church, reading good, old books like Eusebeus's The Church History and Augustine's Confessions.  In Literature we are exploring the worldview and literary merit of various works from Tolkein's Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring, to Dorothy L. Sayers's The Nine Taylors.

Monday, November 14, 2011


The longer I avoid contemplate the Half-Marathon I ran on September 10th, the more I will forget and the less I will eventually learn from it.  (Actually, So much time has passed since I last posted, and so much has been going on, that if I don't pick somewhere to begin I may never get back to this blog.  This may be the easiest place to begin.)

So, a Half-Marathon, 26.2/2, t h i r t e e n and one-tenth miles.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Photo Page

I've taken the plunge and joined Smugmug for a safe place to display and sell my photos.  I'm still developing the site, (no pun intended) so check back often to see how I'm getting along figuring it out!  Just click on the tab above and you'll be whisked away to my Smugmug!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


I've been Missing In Action here for almost two months.  My time has not been spent lounging on a beach, to be sure.

Here's a snapshot:

Monday, August 08, 2011

As The Mother of a U.S. Army Soldier...

Friday, as we were all going about our lives here in the Land of the Free, thirty of the Brave gave their lives in pursuit of our enemies in Afghanistan.  They died when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot out of the sky by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by insurgent forces.  Evidently, this was the deadliest single incident for U.S. forces during the entire ten-year war.

My son, whose "job" with the Army is to maintain and repair CH-47 helicopters, will be deploying to Afghanistan in the near future.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Strength Upon Which I Can Depend

Since I am training toward a half-marathon, and a hilly one at that, about six weeks (!) from now, I'm purposely seeking longer and more challenging routes to run around home.  Last week I mapped out  7-miles of road which include a couple of serious hills, yet does not require me to run past my home until I'm returning at the very end, thus eliminating the temptation to bail early.

More Blessed in Giving

When Kate asked us a couple of months ago if she could invite some of her friends she has made while living in Lancaster to come for the weekend of the music festival, Father Folk, we readily agreed.  We've not had the chance to become acquainted with her new friends, and spending a weekend with them here would be a great way to do just that.  Kate seemed to be on top of the details and planning, and she pledged with all the sincerity of her soul to manage the entire affair.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Bountiful Dealings

The past few weeks since my last post have been busy in some ways, and rather relaxing in others.  Jim and Erin went away to camp in Virginia while Isaac and I stayed home and found ways to enjoy our time together in spite of the heat wave that practically annihilated any outdoor activities.  Once our adventurers returned home we had a pleasant week together, all four of us, for the first time all summer.  Wineberries have been jammed and peaches have been deliciously preserved.  Books have been read and movies have been viewed.  A good time has been had by all.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Just Who Do I Think I Am?!

Tuesday morning I slipped out the door for a morning run, and as I watched the sun cast my shadow along the road in front of me, a mocking voice whispered in my head, "Just who do you think you are, out here running like some kind of athlete"?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Encouragement and Goals

Over the past few months I have been running again, and I have found new friends with whom to enjoy this pastime.  When I began running a year and a half ago the solitude was priceless to me, I had a friend in FL who was encouraging my progress, and I had a goal for which I was reaching, so that was enough to get me outdoors on a regular schedule.  Since this spring though, I have found that I needed more reasons to get out, in part because my need for encouragement was changing and I hadn't set any clear goals.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Entering Her Rest

Since we moved here less than 5 years ago, we don't have a long history with any of the folks who have become our friends.  In most circumstances this has no bearing on our relationships, and they are growing individually as God gives grace.  One relationship which surprised me, however, was my friendship with Ann.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Now That I've Had Time To Think...

I'm not very good with spontaneous conversations, especially when there's only a moment to reply.  This morning, near the beginning of my run, I passed a neighbor who faithfully walks her dogs every day and has seen me running since I began the Couch 2 5K program a year and a half ago.  As I approached her on the road this morning I called out a greeting, to which she replied, "You're looking *fabulous!"  (*she might have said "marvelous", or "great"- I was surprised, so my memory isn't reliable on this point.)

I simply said, "Thanks!  Isn't this weather lovely?!"

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sweet Blues

Yesterday was blueberry jam day in my kitchen!  Over the years I have made a lot of things from blueberries, but this is the first time I've ever jammed them.  It won't be the last.  Oh- sweet yumminess!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Untangling Notions

I had a revelation this morning.

I have been operating under conflicting assumptions.  There have been two streams of thought, undercurrents actually, which have been carving subtle grooves into my thought processes, causing a contradiction of which I was consciously unaware.

Jam Session

Long, long ago, in a lifetime far away, I gardened, harvested, pickled and preserved like nobody's business every year.  From freezing fresh-picked sweet corn, to pickling green beans, to saucing tomatoes, to making lemon balm jelly, (be still my heart) I spent a lot of time working with a hot water bath canner and all of the jars, rings, and lids that go along with it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Boot Camp

And just to continue the information burst after the weeks of silence, I'll quickly mention this new project for the summer.  A friend of mine posted a link on her Facebook page to a slim-down challenge with a catchy name.  The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans Burst into Summer 6 week online Bootcamp.  (See the cute new button on the right of my page->)

What's not to love?!

Summer Officially Arrived Early

Our year of Home Education came to an end a tad bit earlier than I had realized it might.  I had scheduled an evaluation with a teacher who lives nearby, and is approved by the Mason Dixon Homeschool Diploma program- more on that later, maybe.  As I spoke with her on the phone while setting a date and time for our evaluation, she told me that Isaac's Boy Scouting activities would all count toward days of education, and help to fulfill the required 180 days needed for a full school year.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Continuing the Catch-up

Alrighty, where was I?  Oh yes- we ran our May Thirsty Thursday 5K and then the next day Erin, Isaac and Jim packed up and headed to camp.  Hickory Run, that is, in the Poconos, with roughly half of our church.  Every Memorial Day weekend a large group of families from church go camping together, and we have loved joining this tradition.  We have neighboring campsites reserved a year in advance, so just about everyone around us is someone we know.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thirsty Summertime Thursdays

So these last few weeks have been pounding by so quickly, with so many things going on, I'll have to hit the highlights in a few quickly successive posts.  If I could get it into my head that not every post needs to be "meaningful", then I'd keep up with current events a bit better.

The May Thirsty Thursday 5K was postponed a week due to the weather.  It was actually scheduled to run on the day of our crazy rainstorm adventure, after which I think I'd have gladly gone out and run for 3.1 miles, just to use up the extra adrenaline!  So on the fourth Thursday in May, Erin, Isaac, and I, plus some friends who've never run it before, went out to Trooper Thorn's for our favorite 5K.  This would be the first race for me of the year and I was looking forward to setting a baseline time.  I was fairly confident that whatever time I achieved would be easily beat in future races, since it was a sweltering 90 degrees.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Live A Sheltered Life

Yes, I know, it's been a month since I've posted anything.  Not merely a month, but a very busy month, filled with exciting newsworthy things like running races, camping, cliff-jumping, finishing the homeschool year, planting a little tiny veggie garden, and sending everyone away so I can have a solitary week.

This is not, however, what I'm coming 'round to write about tonight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sometimes The Best Blessings Come in Little Packages

In recent months as we have prepared for Rebekah's time in Virginia we had two major concerns.  The first was answered by finding the perfect living arrangement for her- renting a room from a wonderful family who attend the church she'll be attending.  The second concern was; what will she drive while down there?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 22, 2011

I'm having a difficult time sorting out how I feel about yesterday's non-event.  The Rapture didn't happen; we're all still here.  Actually, I know what I'm feeling, the many reason why I feel this way are what need sorting out.

As I watched the evening News, with story after story of anguish and loss, wars, floods, murders and mayhem, the anchor then turned to the story of those who believed in the Lord's imminent return by saying, "Well, fortunately, the Rapture did not happen today."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Never a Dull Moment.

You know, some days are just more exciting than we are prepared to endure.

We've looked forward to today for a few weeks, since it's the final day with our Home School Co-op, which means the kids would be reciting poetry of their choice in front of an audience, Erin would enter a couple of her paintings in the art show, we'd stay for lunch, and then join the group at the park for a fun and relaxing afternoon.

Ohhhh, the best laid plans...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Between Williamsburg

This week we have had so many things happen that sorting them out could be done simply, or a big complicated mess.  Let’s take the simple path.

1. Jim and I arrived home from Williamsburg late Sunday evening.  Having stopped for coffee ¾ of the way, we weren’t sleepy at all, so we sat down with Kate and Isaac to watch a movie.  This took us to far later in the evening than I am usually awake, so when my cell phone rang at 11 pm I was glad not to be in bed.  My Mom was calling to tell me to turn on the News- Osama bin Laden had been killed.  We switched over to Fox News and saw Geraldo Rivera running through the breaking news.  Unbelievable.  I jumped onto Facebook and saw the reactions popping among my friends.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Williamsburg Weekend

Last weekend Jim and I were blessed to be able to get away for a couple of days.  Well, we were blessed, and we got away for a couple of days, but it wasn’t only for vacation.  We went to check out a couple of options for Rebekah’s living arrangements for the summer. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Thoughts on Osama

I don't have the time now to get my thoughts down on the recent news of the death of Osama Bin Laden.  Here are some links to articles written by wiser heads than mine.

I'll get back to you on my own thought- it's been a busy week.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wild Weather

A couple of weeks ago my son texted me to let me know that the power was out where he is stationed, at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, and there was a tornado warning in effect. Continued texting assured me of his well-being. I checked later that evening online and saw that the area had indeed been hit by several tornadoes, and there were already photos and video footage available of the damaged areas. This morning I was tagged in a Facebook post written by a friend in Georgia, informing me that a mutual friend in Alabama had a near brush with a tornado in her neighborhood, but was okay.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Confessions of a Non-Confrontational Calvinist
In the movie Toy Story, there is a character with whom I particularly relate. Rex, the big green dinosaur, towers above the rest of the toys and has a mouthful of teeth and a fearsome roar, but it quickly becomes clear that Rex is a coward. In a scene that returns to my mind on a regular basis, Rex shakes his tiny little fists and declares, "I don't like confrontation!"


Yea, that's me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We’re Not From Around Here

Many Moons ago, waaay back when Jim and I had one child and were expecting our second, we made the decision to leave the Army life behind. We had met while both of us were serving in the Army, married while on Leave, and spent our first three years as husband and wife living in Germany, where Jim was stationed. (I left the Army in order to get married.) One reason for our decision was that we wanted to have a family, but we did not want to have to uproot ourselves every few years in order to move around wherever the Army sent us. We wanted to be settled as part of a community.


God has a sense of humor.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Ten

I'm taking a moment out of my week to list ten things for which I am thankful.

1. Coffee, ready and waiting for me when I stumble downstairs in the morning. Jim, being a night owl, works late into the night on his class work, and before he comes to bed in the middle of the night he sets the coffee maker so that I don't have to fumble with it when I get up.

Monday, April 18, 2011

P2R, Week 1

The first week of memorizing the book of Philippians is now behind us and I think we had a strong beginning. Looking through the little Memory Moleskine it appears that we started off easy with the memory work. Further in, the weeks involve a lot more memorization than this. We each spent time individually working on our verses during the week, but once a day we gathered to read them over together. A couple of evenings, Isaac was the one to remind us to get our books and read together.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Raining Cats and Dogs

Yesterday Kate came home for the afternoon and, due to a project on which she was working, did not leave until about midnight. It had rained all day yesterday, with the rain becoming heavy at times. Right when she left was one of those times. Jim helped her carry a last armload of stuff out to the van and then ran back indoors. In his rush, the front door did not close securely.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Partnering to Remember

A few years ago I found the blog of a Christian pastor, Timmy Brister, who had the idea of reading through the Puritans, one a month, for a year.  The discipline of embarking on such a quest "with" someone else, following his posts through the year and reading the comments of others on his blog, was an adventure.  While I didn't make it through all of the books, it was a blessing to have read those which I did.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Title

I began this blog years ago almost by accident.  I had friends who went to Kazakhstan to adopt a boy, and they started a blog to keep everyone apprised of their progress.  One day I just HAD to comment on one of their posts, and stumbled into creating my own blog by mistake.  I was sitting at a public computer in the clubhouse of the apartment complex where we were temporarily living as we waited to move into our new home in our own adventure.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Under Construction

If you've visited this site lately you may have noticed that it has been changing in appearance. Blogger, having recently been acquired by Google, has given me many, many options for customizing my blog. As anybody who knows me will attest, I love arranging and re-arranging rooms until I like the results. Spring cleaning is upon us at home, and the furniture is being shifted around in order to customize our home. I'll move a few things, look at the result, sit in the room for a while, leave it and return later; all to gauge how comfortable I feel with it. One thing that has been a steady constant for me is that I don't want my home to feel as if I've just walked into a furniture store, with everything matching and new. That just wouldn't reflect my personality.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Many moons ago I was in the habit of posting a weekly note on Facebook titled, "The Tuesday Ten". Spurred on by a friend, Kilby, I would take a moment out of each Tuesday to focus on gratitude. Alas, like most good habits, this fell to the wayside. I would see occasional thankful notes written by friends, but my own notes on thankfulness merely added to my growing pile of good intentions, and we know where that ends up. I now have a new friend who weekly posts a "Thankful Thursday" on her blog. Like a good poke in the ribs, this has inspired me to pick up right where I am and express my own gratitude.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To Be Prey, or Not to Be Prey; No Question

[Disclaimer: The following is NOT a How-To guide, it is a How-I-Responded story. Thank you.]

Let me state right off the bat; I am a dog owner. My dog is a Shepherd mix, which means that she is large, she has a strong protective instinct, and she will bark her freaking head off at anyone who happens to be walking along the street as if they are the first wave of an assault of Visigoths intent on our murder and utter destruction. We don't need an alarm system; we have Vali. Because I own such a large and obnoxious dog, I am sensitive to others' reactions to her and do my utmost to keep her from annoying or frightening people. (Unless you are a Visigoth intent on our murder and utter destruction, in which case she is free to be her protective self.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Road Runner’s Plea

I have been running for more than a year now, with a brief hiatus during the winter nastiness, and I have a few thoughts which I'd like to share with drivers. I realize that, for a driver, the few moments involved in driving past a person running down the road are quick and almost not worth considering. I know that to be the case, because until 16 months ago I was behind the wheel giving very little thought to those lunatics running on the side of the road. Now that the shoe, (the high-stability, lightweight, wide, New Balance running shoe, that is) is on the other foot, allow me to suggest a few things for you to consider.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Virtual Ligonier

While we lived in Florida we were blessed to be able to attend the annual Conference for Ligonier Ministries, in Orlando, several years in a row. Now that we live so far away, we enjoy the blessing of watching the conference streaming live on the internet. Rather, I should say, the mixed blessing of streaming live on the internet. Because the live webcast affords us the ability to watch from home, it means that as we are watching the conference, we are- say it with me- still at home.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

True Beauty in Christ

The following is a talk which I gave at our Church Women's Fellowship this morning. We enjoyed a lovely brunch together, had a lesson in tying silk scarves and an accessory exchange, some songs, and then I shared what had been on my heart as a result of going through the book of 1 Peter with my Bible study group for the past several months.

When you hear the word, "beauty", what comes to mind? Personally, "tall" and "svelte" top my list. Images of physically beautiful women are all around us. Every grocery store checkout line has magazines plastered with the world's ideals of glamour and beauty. Television and movies parade for us endless images of beautiful women. There is an entire industry devoted to convincing us that physical perfection is not only to be desired, it may even be within our grasp. If we take their diet pills, wear their fashions, use their makeup, and subscribe to their magazines so that we can keep up with their ever-shifting definitions, we too might achieve their ideal of beauty. The beauty that we see emblazoned across the world's standards is representative of only a slim percentage- no pun intended- of women today, and yet, for all of the billions of dollars spent on the beauty industry each year, it is missing the mark.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Ice World

We have had quite the onslaught of winter weather lately. Most of what we have been getting is in the form of snow, which can be plowed off the roads and will look beautiful and even provide entertainment. Last week Isaac was able to build one big snowman in the front yard and a giant snow head in the back. They're still out there. Only now, they're covered in a thick layer of ice. The winter storm which swept across the nation, coming up from Texas, caught us on its fringes, sending us wintry mix and ice instead of more snow.

Field Trip!

Last week we celebrated Jim's birthday. Depending on whom you ask my husband is now either 41 or 49… (long story). If you subscribe to the idea of "love languages", I would say that Jim's love language is "Doing Stuff Together", with a strong accent on "Historical Interest", otherwise known as, "Old Stuff is the Best Stuff". So instead of a pile of gifts, we gave Jim a field trip day into Philadelphia. We live so close to this city which is filled to the brim with "Interesting Stuff", "Old Stuff", and "Interesting Old Stuff", the kids and I figured we'd be able to find something just right for Jim. With a little bit of internet research I found a museum in Philly which fit the bill perfectly.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marching for Life

Many moons ago, way back when I only had three children, I went to the March for Life in Washington D.C. I took my then six-year old Nathaniel and five-month old Rebekah. Kate stayed home with friends. We went with a busload of people, many of whom we knew and would help me along the way with my baby and the stroller. I had been active in the local Pro-Life group, so this was an issue with which I was familiar, as was Nathaniel. He had made a poster for a contest, which he won, the prize being the tickets for the bus to Washington. That year, 1993, the March fell on the day after President Clinton's Inauguration. While we marched, our new President reversed years of pro-life progress by issuing five executive orders reversing Title 10 regulations banning abortion referral by federal employees, repealing the Mexico City Policy restricting federal funding of international organizations that work to reverse countries' abortion laws, negating the ban on funding for fetal tissue transplants, ordering military hospitals to perform abortions, and asking the FDA to "review" the import ban on RU 486. The timing was certainly no coincidence and was a symbolic victory dance for the pro-death camp which had found in William Jefferson Clinton a man after their own heart.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

I've not mentioned anything lately about running for the simple fact that two circumstances occurred simultaneously and sidelined me… for now.


Circumstance Number One, when I went for a Saturday morning run with the running group in mid-November, I got as far as 4 and a half miles, was feeling great with my breathing and rhythm, was no longer minding the cold temperature, when my knees both began to hurt. A lot. This wasn't a crankiness about the work I was putting them to, this was a downright mutiny. I tried walking a bit, thinking that after a brief break I could pick up again with the running- after all, it was going so well. But when I slowed for a walk they suddenly hurt even worse- in a weird, weak way. I actually stumbled and almost fell. Once I had walked for a bit the pain was gone so I resumed running and the pain returned almost instantly- and the knees had recruited my left hip to join them in their mutiny. I finished the distance, (for a total of 6 miles) somewhere between a limp and a run. Anyone watching my halting gait may have thought I was rehearsing for an upcoming audition for the role of Quasimodo.